Australian Embassy

Rare Indonesian Textile Collection Highlights Close Relationship between Australia and Indonesia

Media Release

10 July 2018

Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Gary Quinlan today opened an exhibition of rare Indonesian textiles from one of Australia’s most significant private collections at the Jakarta Textile Museum.

Over the next three weeks, the Jakarta Textile Museum, in collaboration with Sydney’s Mosman Art Gallery, will exhibit Encounters with Bali: A collector’s journey

The exhibition showcases textiles from across Indonesia that were collected by Australians Dr John Yu and Dr George Soutter over thirty years of travel to Bali and elsewhere in Indonesia.

“More than one million Australians visit Indonesia each year and for Dr Yu and Dr Soutter, as for so many others, Bali opened the gate to a much broader experience of textiles and the arts across Indonesia,” Mr Quinlan said.

“I am pleased and proud that Australian galleries and museums value these textiles and contribute to the knowledge and promotion of them as important parts of the culture of our region,” said Dr John Yu, Australian textile and art collector.

Australia is home to some of the richest collections of Indonesian textiles in the world.  Collectively the National Gallery of Australia and the Australian Museum house more than 2,000 pieces of Indonesian textile.

"This exhibition is a manifestation of the cultural and tourism exchanges between Australia and Indonesia,” Jakarta Tourism and Cultural Office official Asiantoro said. “I hope that this exhibition will bring love and support to Indonesian traditional textiles.”

Prior to the opening, Katrina Cashman, Mosman Art Gallery Assistant Director and Dr Siobhan Campbell, Curator and Indonesian art specialist from the University of Sydney, held a workshop for Indonesian museum and gallery practitioners in which they shared expertise in curatorship, textile maintenance and research practices.

Encounters with Bali will be open and free to the public from 11 July to 5 August 2018.

Media Enquiries:
Ian Gerard - 021 25505290